In a season marked by injuries, the Texas Rangers’ most curious pick Friday on the second day of the First-Year Player Draft was a left-handed pitcher who had Tommy John surgery in April.
Wes Benjamin, the No. 1 starter at Kansas, was one of eight players selected by the Rangers on the second day of the three-day draft. The Rangers used their fifth-round pick on Benjamin after liking what he did when healthy and after judging that he will do what it takes to get his elbow healthy.
“The biggest thing is we know Wes,” assistant general manager A.J. Preller said. “From a Tommy John standpoint, you feel like in a year the odds are on your side. If they do the rehab the right way, in a year or so you’re getting a guy that should be back to normal if not better. We put a lot of stock in the person. He’s going to do everything to a T and get back on the field.”
The Rangers selected three Texans, including outfielder Doug Votoloto in the ninth round out of Central Arkansas. Votoloto played at Flower Mound Marcus High School.
The Rangers opened the day by selecting shortstop Josh Morgan from Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High School in the third round with the 95th overall pick. Morgan was rated as the No. 6 shortstop prospect by Baseball America.